Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts

Monday, 3 November 2014

Farm Raised Fish in Dog Food, Cat Food – Not Recommended

Farm raised fish in dog food and cat food products, home-cooked, or raw - all farm raised fish poses a very real health threat to your dog Consuming farm raised fish or fish by-products can trigger many health issues for your pet. While the adverse impact on health may not be immediate – in time, the toll on your pet’s health can be very serious, even more so when compounded with other toxins found in your pet’s diet...

Toxins in Fish Feed
Most fish farms feed their salmon fish food that includes ground-up fish. Some also feed ground-up flesh from other animals such as cattle. The fish used to make the feed are high in the persistent organic pollutants (POPs). The flesh of the cattle and other animals used as feed for fish, is also known to be high in POPs.

Environmental Toxins
Farm raised fish have considerably higher levels of toxins than wild and wild caught open ocean fish. The majority of North American and European farm raised fish contain high levels of dioxins, HCBs, PCBs, toxaphene, and a host of other known inflammatory agents and carcinogens. Toxic residue from all of these substances remains in the soft and hard tissue of the fish after death and is passed on to your dog and cat when he/she consumes a product made with farm raised fish. High levels of PCBs can also be found in wild and wild caught fish from highly contaminated open waters.

Toxins from Vaccines
Farm raised fish are kept in confined pools of water - as a result disease and parasitic infection spread quickly. These man-made fish-pools become contaminated with fish poop and unconsumed fish pellets - all of which creates a breeding ground for bad bacteria. To stave-off disease, farm raised fish are vaccinated - the vaccinations contain multiple toxins. These toxic residues remain in the fish after ‘harvesting’.  When your dog and cat consume these fish or fish by products in their pet food

Ingested Toxins
Farm raised fish are fed fish-pellets that contain antibiotics. The antibiotics are used to fight the bad bacteria in the contaminated holding-pond water. The water dwelling bacteria adapts to the antibiotics. When this occurs a stronger, novel strain of antibiotic must be introduced. Eventually the bacteria become immune to the new antibiotic and once again a novel antibiotic must be employed and additional immunity to antibiotics results. The fish food also contains pesticides to stave-off parasites. To prevent algae formation toxic copper sulfate is also introduced into the water. When your dog or cat ingests the fish, fish meal or fish oil he/she is ingesting residue from the antibiotics, the copper sulfate and pesticides. In so doing your pet's toxic load is increased, his/her chance of acquiring antibiotic resistance is increased.

All of the toxins above are inflammatory and can trigger or contribute to the formation of inflammatory disease, such as arthritis, asthma and other allergic symptoms, autoimmune diseases, colitis, Crohn’s disease, dementia, inflammatory bowel disease and other gastro-intestinal diseases, thyroid problems and multiple types of cancer.

Good and Bad Farm Raised Fish
Is there a difference? Yes, of course – like any sector of the food industry, there are companies that do make a concerted effort to strike a balance between profit, and creating a product which exceeds industry standards. However, farm raised fish living in man-made fish pools are subject to environmental contamination issues and for this reason alone producing a truly clean product is a big problem.

The pet food manufacturer’s, grocery stores, supplement, and pharmaceutical companies all state that their farm raised fish included products are of the highest standards, and conform to the regulations of government bodies having jurisdiction. In North America the FDA and Health Canada are the ultimate authorities having jurisdiction  - both the FDA and Health Canada allow many substances into the pet food, animal feed and human food chain that are not truly safe in any quantity. As pertains to fish – ethoxyquin is just one of many examples of a substance that should be banned from inclusion in all food production. The point being - just because a substance is 'regulated’ and 'permitted', is not an assurance of actual safety.

GMO Salmon
The US company, Aqua Bounty has ‘successfully’ developed the first genetically modified (GM) salmon.  If their application is approved GM salmon will be the first GM fish to be sold for human consumption. Once this approval occurs (which I am hoping will not happen) frankenfish will also enter the made for pets food chain. If GM corn and soy are any indication, the impact of producing and eating GM fish will be adverse to ours, our companion animal’s health, destructive to the environment, and all animals that reside on this earth. Aqua Bounty has recently received multiple fines for a series of permitting and regulatory failures – I hope that the FDA will not approve this dangerous fish. You can read more about the current status of GM salmon here.

Do you want to know how to select good fish for your dog or cat? Read here...

Farmed fish and GM fish – not for me, not for my dogs, and not for my cats.

Additional Assistance - Holistic Health and Wellness Service
If you require additional support, and guidance - contact me to discuss your requirements. I will determine the appropriate course of action for your situation and I will let you know the applicable fees. I offer consultative services to clients around the world...
Diet, Nutrition Wellness Services
  • Unbiased Diet, Nutrition, Product Advice - information and payment here >>. 
  • Holistic Diet, Nutrition Wellness Plans - information and payment here >>.
Dog Obedience Training and Behavior Modification Services
  • In-Person sessions - information and payment here >>.
  • On-Line consultation and sessions - information and payment here >>.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Homemade DIY Natural, Healthy Dog Treats - Recipes and Health Benefits

Commercially manufactured, highly processed dog kibble, cookies and treats can be full of poor nutrition, toxins and carcinogens. The manufacturer may promote their product as wholesome and (all) natural but the terms ‘wholesome’, ‘all-natural’ are not regulated - manufacturers can use the terms as liberally as they like. Many of these treats also contain sugar and other ingredients that are contradictory to a good diet.

As a healthy treat and addition to my dogs’ home made food, I wanted grain-free, healthy nutrient rich alternatives to replace the commercially manufactured dog cookies that I formerly added to my dogs’ daily meals.

The following recipe and its companion, my homemade dog food recipe is appropriate for:

  • Puppies;
  • Teenage Dogs;
  • Adult Dogs, and;
  • Senior Dogs.
The only reason the commercial pet food industry has established a sales niche for puppy food, v.s adult dog food, vs senior dog food is because the adult dog food produced by the pet food industry is often deficient in good source nutrition. 

While an adult dog may be able to sustain such deficiencies for longer periods of time - dogs that are more vulnerable - such as puppies, will show the effects of deficiencies more quickly, the same can be said for many senior dogs. 

As well, the pet food industry has created a niche for 'weight control' dog foods for adult and senior dogs. Another invention made necessary by the inadequacies of  pet food industry products. A dog that is on a species appropriate diet is much less likely to become overweight than a dog that is fed a nutrient poor and grain-based diet. Grain gets converted by the body into sugar very quickly - this spikes insulin levels and has a collective effect of creating constant hunger in the dog. In addition a dog that is fed a diet that is primarily comprised of  fillers and poor source carbohydrates must consume a much larger quantity of that 'food' in order to obtain actual nutritive value. The combination of these two facts creates obesity in dogs, just as it does in humans. If a dog is fed a truly good diet - that same diet can retain its value unchanged throughout the life-span of the dog - from puppy, hood to adult to senior. 

If you need your dog to loose weight - the best approach is to feed your dog a truly good diet, cut back on carbohydrates, increase protein and good source fat (i.e. coconut oil  a good source omega-6 fatty acid, a high quality omega-3 fatty acid such as Norwegian cod liver oil, Wild Alaskan salmon oil or Norwegian krill oil), introduce appropriate cooked, frozen-thawed and fresh veggies and fruit prepared properly to maximize absorption of nutrients, and turmeric. 

For puppies up to 8 months of age exclude the garlic from the recipe. Once puppy is 8 months of age add the garlic to the recipe.

Recipe #1 - Meat Balls with Coconut Oil and Herbs

  • 3 cups meat or fish
    • if you feed your dog raw food, use raw meat
    • if you feed your dog dry or wet processed food, or cooked food - cook the meat on lowest possible temperature until just cooked, then remove from heat.
  • 3 to 4 tbs of coconut oil, olive oil or sesame oil;
  • 3 to 4 tbs of organic apple cider vinegar;
  • 2 cups grated/shredded cheese - cheddar, mozzarella, provolone or Swiss;
  • 1 fresh lemon (rind, pulp, juice, seeds removed), finely minced - lemons have many beneficial properties;
  • 1/8 cup organic basil - fresh or dry
  • 1/8 cup organic anise seed (whole or ground);
  • 1/8 cup organic caraway seed (whole or ground);
  • 1/8 cup organic fennel seed (whole or ground); 
Optional Ingredients
  • 4 garlic cloves, finally minced (yes, it is safe for dogs when fed in reasonable amounts daily and offers many health benefits.). If you are making this recipe for cats, don't use garlic.
  • 1/8 cup dry or fresh dill (chopped);
  • 1/8 cup ground flax seed, or chia, or saba chia seed, or hemp hearts.
Preparation, Serving and Storing
  • Mix all ingredients  together in a large bowl.
  • You can form into little round pebbles, balls or flat cookie shapes using a spoon and your palms.
  • Place in a container.
  • Store in refrigerator for up to one week - you can also freeze it.
  • If you are not going to be freezing the treat you can simply place in container and spoon out at treat-time.
  • You can also use this as a food topper at meal-time.
  • You can cut the recipe in half, thirds, or quarters depending on how many dogs you have and how often you want to feed them the treat.
Recipe #2 - Scrambled Eggs, Cheese and Coconut Oil

  • 6 eggs - free-range, or organic provide the best nutrition!
  • 1 tsp to 1 tbs coconut oil (depends on the size of the fry pan you are using);
  • 1/2 cup grated/shredded cheese - cheddar, mozzarella, provolone or Swiss;
  • If going raw with this treat just whisk all ingredients together and serve.
  • If cooking this treat - 
    • Add the coconut oil to a fry pan and set on low heat;
    • Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk them;
    • Add the grated cheese to the whisked eggs;
    • Pour the egg and cheese mixture into the heated fry pan and cook on low heat;
    • Scramble them as they start to cook;
    • When the eggs are fluffy and still a little moist they are ready to serve;
    • Allow the scrambled eggs to cool down to warm, before placing the treat in your dog's food bowl. 

You can cut the recipe in half, thirds, or quarters depending on how many dogs you have. Provided you use whole eggs (both yolk and egg white) when making this recipe your dog can have this treat daily. If you only use the egg white, give this treat a maximum of 3 times per week. Long-term consumption of egg white without the egg yolk can cause a our dog to have a biotin deficiency. Egg white contains avidin which over time can interfere with the body's absorption of biotin. Egg yolk contains biotin in sufficient amounts to balance and the intake of avidin.

Health Benefits

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties, helps support your dog’s immune system, it is a natural insect repellent fleas and ticks do not like acidic environments…they don’t like the smell of ACV. I give my dogs’ ACV on a daily basis - it makes there skin and blood much less tasty to fleas, ticks and Mosquitoes. ACV is also excellent for a dog’s coat - when used topically and when ingested. ACV can also be used to treat ear infections.

Anise Seed
Anise seed has anti-oxidant, disease preventing and many health promoting properties. Anise is rich in B Complex Vitamins, Vitamin A and C (anti-oxidants) and important minerals such as copper, iron, magnesium, manganese zinc and potassium. 


Caraway Seeds
Caraway seeds are rich in antioxidants, nutrients, vitamins (i.e. A, B-complex, C, E, thiamine, pyridoxine, riboflavin, niacin) and minerals (i.e. calcium, copper, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, zinc). Caraway seeds are also high in good fibre.

Cheese - Cheddar, Mozzarella, Provolone or Swiss
Cheddar, Mozzarella, Provolone and Swiss cheese are a good source of protein; rich in calcium; a good source of vitamin A; an aid to controlling hypertension; a source of Linoleic acid and Sphingolipids (help prevent cancer) . A dog’s teeth and jaws are comprised primarily of calcium. When there is not enough calcium in a dog’s diet the risk of developing periodontitis increases. Calcium is best when combined with phosphorus and Vitamin D

Coconut Oil
In addition to being an excellent source of Omega 6 fatty acids, coconut oil offers an amazing array of health benefits for example coconut oil is a digestive aid, promotes healthy bones, supports the immune system, metabolism, skin and fur. f you would like to know more about the many benefits of coconut oil you can click here.

Olive Oil or Sesame Oil
Making sure your dog gets enough Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids in their diet is essential to good health. Olive Oil and Sesame Oil are both good sources of Omega 6 fatty acids. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids must be consumed on a daily basis and in the correct ratio. You can read this article to learn more about Omega 3 and 6 Health benefits, best sources and dosage. You can add ground flax seeds if you want to include Omega 3 fatty acids in this recipe as well as Omega 6.


Dill Weed
Dill contains monoterpene which helps anti-oxidants attach to oxidized molecules - thus supporting the fight against free-radicals. Dill is also a digestive aid and helps to regulate insulin levels and may help in controlling bad LDL.

Eggs contain Lutein and zeaxanthin - two caratenoids that support eye health - particularly important for aiding in the prevention of macular degeneration and cataracts. Eggs are high in protein and iron and naturally occurring vitamin D. Eggs are rich in vitamins and minerals (i.e. sulpher) that support the growth and maintenance of healthy fur and nails. With the growth of mass production of eggs Omega 6 levels have risen dramatically resulting in a disruption of the natural ratio of Omega 6 to 3 in eggs. For that reason it is best to purchase Omega-3 enriched eggs.

Garlic has many health benefits - you can read about them here. Unlike onions, garlic is good for a dog’s health. Don't give garlic to cats.

Fresh Lemon Juice
Lemon is naturally anti-bacterial, anti-viral, immune system boosting, a digestive aid and liver cleanser. Lemons contain bioflavonoids, calcium, citric acid, limonene, magnesium and vitamin C. Lemon is also excellent for treating periodontal issues, for avoiding and treating ear infections and when used as a household cleaner thus reducing your dog’s exposure to harsh chemicals.

Additional Treat Recipes

DIY Nutritious Treats Made with Yogurt and Cheese

  • DIY Smoothies & Frozen Treats for Dogs – Nutrient Rich Refreshing Relief During Hot Weather - recipes and health benefits here.

Holistic Support

Additional Assistance - Holistic Health and Wellness Service
If you require additional support, and guidance - contact me to discuss your requirements. I will determine the appropriate course of action for your situation and I will let you know the applicable fees. I offer consultative services to clients around the world...
Diet, Nutrition Wellness Services
  • Unbiased Diet, Nutrition, Product Advice - information and payment here >>. 
  • Holistic Diet, Nutrition Wellness Plans - information and payment here >>.
Dog Obedience Training and Behavior Modification Services
  • In-Person sessions - information and payment here >>.
  • On-Line consultation and sessions - information and payment here >>.